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SVETLA NAD SAZAVOU: Havlichuv Brod, Bohemia PDF Print E-mail


The Sázava River flows through the town. town website.  Founding of the town goes back to the second half of the 12th century. In 1207, Světlá was the property of a former Vilémov monastery as documented in the commemorative book. The town began to flourish after the Hussite wars thanks to the family, Trčkové of Lípa that controlled the region of the Sázava river‘s middle course until 1618 when the property was confiscated. Afterwards Světlá was taken by the Catholic, often German, aristocracy. The 18th century saw great economic activity after Světlá was granted town status in 1855. This town of glass and stone has a monument situated on the square. A glass industry was enabled by the healthy fir and beech forests for lignit made from beech used in heating glass. The glass industry dates back to 1720. The production of glass was linked to its refinement, polishing, and cutting. Around Světlá, a large number of small glass works,  the biggest of them– in Josefodol – was rebuilt in 1861 from a former papermill.  The construction of a new big glass factory – today Sklo Bohemia a. s.- started in 1967. In additon to traditional hand-made manufacturing, tan automatical production of glossy or cut beverage glass is there. Garnets and precious stones were cutted here almost two centuries, butstopped under communism. Another important industry, the extraction and processing of granite, has a short history unlike the glass industry. The biggest quarry,  Horka, has granite used for facings of various important buildings. A chateau located on the left bank of the River Sázava is one of the most beautiful buildings of the town with an English garden park. The synagogue with a sanctuary with wooden ceiling imitating vaulting and a wooden women’s gallery was rebuilt in 1889 from an older, partly brick and half-timbered synagogue.[February 2009]


SVETLA NAD SAZAVOU: (I) US Commission No. CZCE000050

Alternate German name: Swietla; Czech: Světlá nad Sázavou. Town is located in Bohemia, Havlickuv Brod at 49°40′17″N 15°23′59″E , 31 km NW of Jihlava and 80km SE of Praha. The old cemetery is located at 200 m W. of the chateau, close to the road leading to Lomnicka. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with probably fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Mestsky Urad, (mayor: Josef Stanek), 582 91 Svetla nad Sazavou; tel. 0451/522-28.
  • Regional: Okresni Urad, Referat Kultury, 580 01 Havlickuv Brod; and Zidovska Nabozenska Obec v Praze, Maislova 18, 110 01 Praha l; tel. 02/231-69-25.
  • Interested: Okresni Muzeum, Namesti 56, 580 04 Havlickuv Brod; tel. 0451/4101 and Statni Zidovske Muzeum, Jachymova 3, 110 01 Praha 1; tel. 02/231-06-34 or 231-07-85.
  • Key holders: Ladislav Chalad and Vera Svetla Kolovratova 600, 582 91 Svetla nad Sazavou.

Earliest known Jewish community was late 18th century or early 19th century. 1930 Jewish population was 79 people 1930. Peak Jewish population in late 19th century (111 people in 1890). Native town of both poet Leopold Kohn (1838-1901) and composer Oskar Morawetz (1917, resident of Toronto, Canada). The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1742 with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial in 1886. The isolated flat urban hillside by water has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via a continuous masonry wall, a continuous fence, and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.0435 ha.

The cemetery contains no stones or known mass graves. Within the limits of the site is a new car-shed. A private owner uses it for an orchard. Adjacent properties are residential. Vandalism occurred during World War II.

Vlastmila Hamackova, Zabelska 37, Engineer Mojmir Maly, Ve Stresovickach 58, 169 00 Praha 6; tel. 02/35-57-69 and Jiri Fiedler, z"l, Brdickova 1916, 155 00 Praha 5; tel. 02/35-57-69 completed survey on 31 July 1992. Documentation: Hubo Gold: Die Juden…Bohemens (1934), Karel Seidler: Kronika mesta Svetle od roku 1207-1886 (1887); Jahrbuch fur die israelische Cultusgemeinden Bohemens (1893-4);notes of Statni Zidovske Muzeum Praha; cadastre of 1838. The site was not visited. Josef Dolezal (custodian of local synagogue) Svetla n.s. was interviewed in 1985.
SVETLA NAD SAZAVOU: (II) US Commission No. CZCE000051
The new cemetery is located at 500 m N, in Komenskeho Street close to municipal cemetery. Caretaker with key is Drahomira Nedvedova, Na Rozkosi 473, 582 91 Svetla nad Sazavou; tel. 0451/528-06. The unlandmarked Jewish cemetery originated in 1886-7 with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial in perhaps 1941. Buried in the cemetery are Rabbi Samuel Schuller (d.1905). The flat suburban land, separate but near cemeteries, has Czech inscriptions. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission via continuous masonry wall and locking gate. The pre- and post-WWII size of cemetery is 0.3133 ha.

20-100 or 100-500 stones, all in original location, date from late 1880's-20th century. The granite and sandstone flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, multi-stone monuments, or horizontally set stones have Hebrew, German and Czech inscriptions. Some tombstones have portraits on stones and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery has no special sections, known mass graves, or structures but has special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims. The local Jewish community owns the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural and municipal cemetery. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Vandalism occurred occasionally 1945-1991. Jewish groups within the country did restoration after 1979 and 1992. Now, there is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals and regular caretaker paid by Praha Jewish congregation. Serious threat: vandalism. Slight threat: weather erosion, pollution and vegetation. No interviews. See Svetla Nad Sazavou I for survey details.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 00:12
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